Did you know that millions of Americans suffer from some form of dental anxiety that prevents them from seeking the oral healthcare they need? If you are one of them, don’t worry, you’re in good company. All of your concerns will be addressed and taken seriously at Cowan Family Dentistry. We know everyone has their own reasons for avoiding the dentist and dodging our phone calls. That’s why we’re happy to offer sedation options for the most comfortable, relaxed dental visit you’ve ever had.
Not too long after graduating dental school, I was in need of dental care myself. The morning of my appointment I confessed to my wife that I was a little nervous, even though I had first-hand knowledge of what was to be done, and how. My wife looked up at me and said, “Ryan, don’t you know that everyone is nervous before going to the dentist?” To be honest, up to this point, I had not fully understood the reality that my wife clearly pointed out. I was convinced that everyone loved going to the dentist. I was so very clearly wrong.
There are plenty of reasons people get anxious about visiting the dentist, and plenty of reasons people avoid the whole situation altogether, including:
Whatever the reason, we want you to know that your concerns are taken seriously. We also want you to know that in the skilled and compassionate hands of our team, there really is nothing to fear. We promise to take the very best care of you, just like we would for our own family.
Nitrous oxide is the most minimal form of sedation, and one that you’ve probably heard referred to as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide comes in the form of a gas (nitrogen and oxygen) that smells and tastes slightly sweet, that you breathe through a small mask at the start of your appointment. You will almost instantly start to feel your anxiety melting away as you relax into the chair, and your appointment will be over before you know it.
Oral conscious sedation comes in the form of a prescription sedative that Dr. Cowan will prescribe that you can pick up at your local pharmacy. These sedatives are classified as benzodiazepines. One of the most common sedatives prescribed is called Halcion. You will take the sedative about an hour before your appointment to help you relax. Depending on the nature of your appointment and your level of anxiety, Dr. Cowan can prescribe just the right dosage to help you get the care you need.
You will start to feel very relaxed and comfortable and may feel slightly euphoric or lethargic. Sedation is not the same as general anesthesia, and will not put you under, although some patients do relax enough to fall asleep. Sedation dentistry is designed to help you feel more comfortable, but to keep you generally awake and able to respond to the doctor throughout your appointment.
Sedation does produce some amnesic effects, so although you may or may not fall asleep, the details will be fuzzy and your visit will be over before you know it. You will need to arrange for transportation to and from your appointment. We are happy to offer sedation for major dental work, as well as minor cleanings and exams if needed.
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